Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Well, the Supreme Court said they were people

And since corporations are notoriously difficult to fit into a jail cell, this seems the only reasonable course of action.
It's getting personal now. In a shift still evolving, federal enforcers are targeting individual executives in health care fraud cases that used to be aimed at impersonal corporations.

The new tactic is raising the anxiety level — and risks — for corporate honchos at drug companies, medical device manufacturers, nursing home chains and other major health care enterprises that deal with Medicare and Medicaid.

Previously, if a company got caught, its lawyers in many cases would be able to negotiate a financial settlement. The company would write the government a check for a number followed by lots of zeroes and promise not to break the rules again. Often the cost would just get passed on to customers.

Now, on top of fines paid by a company, senior executives can face criminal charges even if they weren't involved in the scheme but could have stopped it had they known. Furthermore, they can also be banned from doing business with government health programs, a career-ending consequence.

Many in industry see the more aggressive strategy as government overkill, meting out radical punishment to individuals whose guilt prosecutors would be hard pressed to prove to a jury.

The feds say they got frustrated with repeat violations and decided to start using enforcement tools that were already on the books but had been allowed to languish. By some estimates, health care fraud costs taxpayers $60 billion a year, galling when Medicare faces insolvency.
Push their executive noses into the shit and maybe they will stop doing it.

Your Daily Cenk Shot

Wherein Cenk and guests examine Republican/Teabagger efforts to grasp the political third rail of Lyin' Ryan's plan.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Your Dylan Dally Moment

Ratigan has a rant of his own and Rep John Larson gets a few words in edgewise.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Cashiered Lt Col says Army needs toilet paper

But is there really enough toilet paper to clean the smear left on the Army by an asshole like Allen West? Or is he just worried about the santorum? An anxious country looks on and wonders.

Have we given up on unemployment?

Now that the elephant of recession has been removed from the room, Paul Krugman ponders why no one is talking about the 500 pound turd it left on the carpet, unemployment.

Unemployment is a terrible scourge across much of the Western world. Almost 14 million Americans are jobless, and millions more are stuck with part-time work or jobs that fail to use their skills. Some European countries have it even worse: 21 percent of Spanish workers are unemployed.

Nor is the situation showing rapid improvement. This is a continuing tragedy, and in a rational world bringing an end to this tragedy would be our top economic priority.

Yet a strange thing has happened to policy discussion: on both sides of the Atlantic, a consensus has emerged among movers and shakers that nothing can or should be done about jobs. Instead of a determination to do something about the ongoing suffering and economic waste, one sees a proliferation of excuses for inaction, garbed in the language of wisdom and responsibility.

So someone needs to say the obvious: inventing reasons not to put the unemployed back to work is neither wise nor responsible. It is, instead, a grotesque abdication of responsibility.

Once again leadership is a word that people claim and a quality that they all lack.

Joe Nocera talks to a real banker

One who doesn't believe in the Big Wall St. Casino that our current financhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifial BSD's have made of a once honorable profession. Bob Wilmers, CEO of M & T Bank believes in deposits, loans and customer service, and running a bank that grows on its own.

Karzai of the Afghans complains again

Thanks to the US taxpayers he and his family are billionaires many times over but does he show any gratitude? Hardly. Now he is complaining about NATO air forces blowing up Afghan citizens who happen to be under NATO bombs when they fall.
In one of his sternest warnings yet concerning civilian casualties, President Hamid Karzai said Tuesday that NATO must stop air attacks on Afghan homes immediately, or face “unilateral action” from the Afghan government.

Speaking at a news conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, Mr. Karzai declined to say what actions the government would or could take, saying only that Afghanistan “has a lot of ways of stopping it.”

In an admonishment that carried an air of threat, he said NATO forces were on the verge of being considered occupiers rather than allies.

“If they continue their attacks on our houses, then their presence will change from a force that is fighting against terrorism to a force that is fighting against the people of Afghanistan,” he said. “And in that case, history shows what Afghans do with trespassers and with occupiers.”
Ingrate! It is definitely time for the US to say we have had enough of this shitty little war. If you don't like us blowing up your people, we are taking our war toys and going home.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Today is Memorial Day

Take a minute to remember those who have fallen.

Now go find a parade, enjoy the day with those who are living.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A distant memory

Susan Christie was a Philly folk singer who would be classified as a 1 hit Wonder if this unreleased effort had not been found. Not that it was a hit, but she deserved better than the industry did to her.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A song for Paul Ryan

From two lovely ladies

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Pundits say Medicare killed the Beast

Kathy Hochul was on Rachel's show and shows she had several more strings to her bow besides Medicare, including tax increases. And you get to see and hear a great candidate.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The smart candidates won't be one trick ponies.

Your Daily Cenk Shot

Cenk and Gretchen Morgensen discuss Banksters and crimes.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Republican congressman says his health care is free

Free as in beer. And he was totally clueless to the fact that he was talking to the people who paid for his health care. In fact, the people who have been paying for his health care most of his adult life. Steve Benen has the story.

Bank of America waist deep in the Big Shit Creek

From Bloomberg:
A Bank of America Corp. (BAC) unit conducting home foreclosures in Utah is violating the law, the attorney general said in a letter as individual states advanced their investigations of mortgage servicing.

ReconTrust Co. isn’t meeting requirements for carrying out foreclosures in the state, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said in a letter to Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan. The letter, dated May 19, was released today by Shurtleff’s office.

All real estate foreclosures conducted by ReconTrust in the state of Utah are not in compliance with Utah’s statutes, and are hence illegal,” Shurtleff wrote.
I don't know how many that may be but it sure sounds definitive. Now if the other state AG's could borrow Mark Shurtleff's balls we might get somewhere.

Hell hath no fury like an Elizabeth Warren fan

And that dirty little scumbag Rep. Patrick McHenry is discovering that on his Facebook page. "Hundreds -- and probably thousands -- have flocked to McHenry's fan page to singe him." Click on over and enjoy the reading. Add your own thoughts if you like, a lot of other people are.

Headline of the Day

Pope shuts down famous ‘party monastery’ with ‘prancing nuns’
Just when the Church needs to attract new members. What was the Popenfuhrer thinking?

Is Mrs. Gingrich as dirty as The Newter?

We learned last week about the $500,000 tab at Tiffany's for Newticles while the Mrs. was working for the House Agriculture committee. According to The Newter it was a standard interest free account (not available to normal people). Now we find out that Tiffanys had an interest in the committee's business.
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has dodged questions about his half-million dollar Tiffany & Co. tab all week. Now, it has been revealed that the House committee Gingrich's wife Callista worked for was heavily lobbied by the posh jewelry store.

Politico revealed last week that in her 2005 and 2006 filings with the House Ethics Committee, Callista Gingrich disclosed that the former House Speaker had between $250,000 and $500,000 debt with Tiffany & Co. while she was working for the House Agriculture Committee.

"It's a standard no-interest account," Gingrich explained to CBS' Bob Schieffer Sunday. "We paid no interest on it. There was no problem with it. It's a normal way of doing business."

Over those those same years, Tiffany's doubled the amount of money they spent on lobbying, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The company spent $200,000 in 2006 alone.

Lobbying firm Cassidy & Associates, Inc. has reported that "[m]ining law and mine permitting -related issues" was the jewelry retailer's specific lobbying concern.
Callista seems perfectly suited to be Newticle's wife. The real question is why, with all the shit that is sticking to him, does The Newter continue his pretence of a campaign?

Can Kosher Mouse be saved?

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has become the focus of a FEMA disaster declaration, as reported by the Borowitz Report.
One day after Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) stirred controversy by withholding funds for tornado relief, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) took the extraordinary step of declaring Rep. Cantor a disaster area.

Within hours of the declaration, FEMA officials were dispatched to assess the damage to Mr. Cantor’s status as a human being capable of empathy.

“I’ve seen a lot of hurricanes and tornados, but this is something new,” said FEMA spokesman Tracy Klugian. “Rep. Cantor appears to have been caught up in a moral vacuum.”

While concerned FEMA officials looked on, the morally ravaged House Majority Leader took to the floor of the House to make the case for denying funds to repair himself.

The FEMA spokesman said that the agency was currently trying to estimate the cost of rebuilding Mr. Cantor’s soul.

“Quite frankly, I’ve never seen devastation like this,” Mr. Klugian said. “It’s like there’s nothing there.”
Those in the situation of Kosher Mouse are usually beyond saving and need to be put away in a nice quiet location where they can't botherdecent people.

Members of Congress trading on inside information?

A team of researchers looked at stock trades by Members of the House and found a significantly higher return than that enjoyed by the public. However no one is accusing them of using the vast amounts of non-public information available to them.

Thankfully, once again their reputation for probity and honesty saves them from scandal. Up next a post about flying pigs.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thank you Rep. Paul "Lyin" Ryan

Thanks to your cold heart and vicious ideology the winner in the special election in NY-26 is Democratic candidate Kathy Hochul.
Two months ago, the Democrat, Kathy Hochul, was considered an all-but-certain loser in the race against Jane Corwin. But Ms. Hochul seized on her Republican rival’s embrace of the proposal from Representative Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, to overhaul Medicare, and she never let up.

Voters, who turned out in strikingly large numbers for a special election, said they trusted Ms. Hochul, the county clerk of Erie County, to protect Medicare.

“I have almost always voted the party line,” said Gloria Bolender, a Republican from Clarence who is caring for her 80-year-old mother. “This is the second time in my life I’ve voted against my party.”

Pat Gillick, a Republican from East Amherst, who also cast a ballot for Ms. Hochul, said, “The privatization of Medicare scares me.”
It is nice to see that Karl Rove can't buy everything, but again, Paul Ryan deserves all the credit for this win.

Scumball Rep. McHenry called Elizabeth Warren a liar

When in fact it is McHenry who does the lying and Dr Warren who stands with truth. Rep. Yarmuth does a very good one minute defense of the good Dr.

military-INDUSTRIAL-Complex alive and well.

From the NY Times:
The Pentagon is very encouraged by Wall Street's response to aerospace companies and arms makers, even as U.S. defense spending flattens, the top U.S. weapons buyer said on Tuesday.

"We are monitoring the health of our industry as it is seen by the financial community," said Ashton Carter, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. "And the information there is very encouraging to us."...

He spoke moments before outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in a major policy address, said his overarching goal was to "preserve a U.S. military capable of meeting crucial national security priorities, even if fiscal pressure requires reductions in that force's size."
Or to put it another way, we will continue to spend $Billion and $Billions no matter how few soldiers we actually have.

Secaucus Fats called up short by NJ Supremes

They have ruled that the Jersey Bully Boy failed to meet minimum requirements for school funding.
The New Jersey Supreme Court ordered the Christie administration on Tuesday to increase state education aid by $500 million in the coming school year, saying it had failed to meet its constitutional obligation to provide adequate educational resources for poor and minority children.

In a 3-to-2 ruling, the court directed that the additional aid be distributed among 31 school districts in historically poor cities like Camden, Newark and Paterson — the so-called Abbott districts at the heart of a school financing case, Abbott v. Burke, that has roiled state officials and courts for three decades.

While the amount of additional aid the Supreme Court ordered was less than the $1.7 billion requested by some advocates, the decision was still seen as a blow to Gov. Chris Christie, whose efforts to rein in school spending and teachers’ salaries have won broad voter support across the state and helped establish him as a leader in national conservative circles.
While he has said he will obey the courts order, he does indicate that he will be a prick about it, something that Republican/Teabaggers do so well.

Sen. Gillibrand stands up for the troops

She is pressing for the pullout of troops from that shithole that is Afghanistan at a faster pace than the Very Serious People want.
In a speech to be delivered Tuesday afternoon at the Center for American Progress (CAP), the Democratic senator from New York will make clear that pushing for a drawdown in Afghanistan will increasingly be a priority of hers in the coming months. Gillibrand plans to call for a refocusing of America's military strategy toward al Qaeda networks in regions where the terrorist group is more of a threat.

"While exact combat troop withdrawal numbers should be decided solely by our military commanders on the ground, let me be clear -- I want to see more troops rather than less, return sooner rather than later," she will state, according to her prepared remarks. "I will urge for an aggressive drawdown of combat troops as rapidly as feasible."

"To ensure we have a firm completion date, which is essential to creating a sense of urgency for Afghan leaders to take security into their own hands, I have written to Secretary Clinton and Secretary Gates requesting the negotiation of a Strategic Redeployment Agreement with Afghanistan that includes a date certain for full combat troop withdrawal," she plans to say.

Gillibrand is a co-sponsor of the Safe and Responsible Redeployment of United States Combat Forces from Afghanistan Act, which would put lawmakers' backing behind the withdrawal of U.S. combat forces beginning on July 1. The bill would also require President Barack Obama to submit a plan to Congress by July 31 for the phased redeployment of U.S. combat forces, including a completion day. The measure was first proposed by Russ Feingold when he was in the Senate and is now co-sponsored by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
If you believe we should have a faster end to the useless waste of troops and wealth in Afghanistan, signup here.

That old Republican electoral strategy

When your candidate is about to have her head handed to her in an election she was supposed to win tie everything up in the courts to delay the winner taking office.
Jane L. Corwin this afternoon obtained a court order from State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia barring a certification of a winner in the special 26th Congressional District race pending a show-cause hearing before him later this week.

The Buffalo News obtained a copy of the show cause order Buscaglia signed this morning based on a petition the Republican candidate filed Monday.

Under the judge's 11-page order, attorneys for Corwin have until Wednesday to serve copies of the court order on the election boards of Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming, Livingston and Monroe counties, their sheriff's departments, the state Board of Elections and her three opponents.

Pending court proceedings before Buscaglia on Thursday at the earliest, the judge also impounded all voting equipment and enjoined the canvass of paper ballots "except as directed by this court" and "temporarily enjoined and restrained from certifying" the winner pending that court hearing.
Because even the Republican machine in NY-26 couldn't deliver the "votes" needed for Corwin.

T-Paw and the Child Molester

Now that he is an announced candidate, all the juicy stories about his past can now be reported in the MSM. The first one out of the gate is the serial child molester who was pardoned for his first molestation because he married his victim. He then went on to molest his daughter for eight years. Not much but a decent opening salvo.

You can't keep a good grifter down

And so, after a spectacular "crash and burn" of his Judgement Day Prophecy, Harold Camping is back for a third time with a new improved prophecy.
The evangelical Christian broadcaster whose much-ballyhooed Judgment Day prophecy went conspicuously unfulfilled on Saturday has a simple explanation for what went wrong -- he miscalculated.

Instead of the world physically coming to an end on May 21 with a great, cataclysmic earthquake, as he had predicted, Harold Camping, 89, said he now believes his forecast is playing out "spiritually," with the actual apocalypse set to occur five months later, on October 21.

Camping, who launched a doomsday countdown in which some followers spent their life's savings in anticipation of being swept into heaven, issued his correction during an appearance on his "Open Forum" radio show from Oakland, California.
He is 89. Why he doesn't take the money and retire to a nice island with his 72 hired virgins is beyond me. No one can make that much money and honestly believe the crap he throws out there.

Today is Election Day in NY-26

If you live in the NY-26 district, don't forget to vote. The pundits say that the turnout will be low because this is May not November. Your vote may be the one that makes a difference. Your favorite can't win if you don't vote.

How gentle is the rain?

It is raining pretty hard right now.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sensible Republicans have gone the way of the Dodo Bird

And Paul Krugman blogs the sad story of the Democrats looking for the last of an extinct species. Three hankies, at least.

Westboro Baptist Church donates $50K to gay organization.

With a little help from Lisa Lampanelli, the efforts of the WBC whackdoodles raised $50,000 for the Gay Men's Health Crisis organization. Pastor Fred may hurl curses from his closet but God will remember what you have done.

Your Daily Cenk Shot

Cenk talks with Glenn Thrush about the Paul "Lyin" Ryan Republican/Teabagger Suicide Pact.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Best Rapture Yet

Over at Watertiger's place.

Recall Rick Snyder Republican Gauleiter of Michigan

FireRickSnyder.org is up and running. If you live in Michigan, this is the place to go to find out what you can do and where you can do it. More over at the Great Orange Stan.

With most of Texas burned up this year

I can see where Republican/Teabaggers don't think they will need as much money in the years ahead.
The Texas Forest Service faces almost $34 million in budget cuts over the next two years, roughly a third of the agency’s total budget. The cuts are in both the House and Senate versions of the proposed state budget. [...]

Assistance grants [for volunteer fire departments] are likely to take the biggest hit. Volunteers — two of whom were killed in fighting this year’s fires — make up nearly 80 percent of the state’s fire-fighting force and are first responders to roughly 90 percent of wildfires in Texas.
And Gov. Good Hair says Texas is a model for emergency preparedness. Some one needs to recast their model.

Scott Brown should go to the beach more often

He would be better able to handle his flip flops. Scottso, once a staunch Republican/Teabagger in his support of Paul Lyin' Ryan's Kill Granny Medicare Elimination plan, has now reversed course completely.
Brown now says he'll vote against the House GOP budget when Democrats bring it up for a vote in the Senate, completing the walkback he began shortly after he said he'd vote for the plan. He explains his final views in a Monday Politico op-ed, becoming the first high-profile, moderate Republican to actively explain his opposition -- and his critique sounds an awful lot like the one Democrats are making.
Curiously, TPM calls this valueless Republican/Teabagger a moderate. Whatever he may or may not be, Massachusetts needs to give him a teabagger primary to save the DEmocrats the effort of reminding all of his flippity flops.

A Military Nightmare

click pic to big

One piece of good news

Princess Beatrice's adorable whatchamacallit of a hat has been sold on e-Bay. The price was 81,100 pounds ($131,648) and the proceeds will be donated to UNICEF and Children in Crisis.

The New Rules of Unemployment

One of the reasons for the large number of unemployed in this country is really quite simple. They no longer qualify for employment unthe the new rules laid out by Arthur Delaney.
1. Don’t Be Old

2. Don't Be Unemployed

3. Don't Pin Your Hopes On College

4. Don't Expect To Make More Money At Your Next Job
Now you know, so happy job hunting, sucker!

Want to read more about Goldmine Sachs criminal activity?

The HuffPo has an excerpt from the book Reckless Endangerment by Gretchen Morgensen and Joshua Rosner that looks at Goldmine's intimate relationship with one of the most reckless subprime mortgage originators.
The relationship forged by Wall Street's most prestigious firm, Goldman Sachs, with one of the nation's most wanton mortgage originators -- Fremont Investment & Loan -- is a case in point. Fremont, a company with a regulatory rap sheet and a history of aggressive lending, received $1 billion in financing from Goldman in 2005, fully one-third of the total it received from all of its Wall Street enablers.
It's an ugly way to start the week.

Sometimes you have to hit them on the head

So that is, metaphorically speaking, what a number of liberal progressive groups did for a number of Democratic Senators up for re-election.
A coalition of progressive groups is warning swing state Democrats to think twice before embracing parts of the Republican budget plan that would privatize Medicare and cut Medicaid.

Armed with a stark set of polls they plan to release this week, the groups -- Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America, MoveOn.org and Credo Action -- are telling Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jon Tester (Mont.), and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) to stand tall on the popular social safety net programs.

"Democrats need to say firmly that any tampering whatsoever with Medicare and Medicaid benefits is off the table," said Charles Chamberlain, Democracy for America's political director...

McCaskill's Missouri shows the largest divide in surveys done by the Democratically friendly Public Policy Polling, especially on Medicare. When asked, "In order to reduce the national debt, would you support or oppose cutting spending on Medicare, which is the government health insurance program for the elderly?" just 19 percent of respondents said they would, while an overwhelming 77 percent said they would oppose cuts.

Similarly, 20 percent back cuts in Brown's Ohio, while 76 percent oppose them. In Tester's Montana, it's 24 percent favoring cuts and 71 percent against. Just 26 percent of Minnesotans would want Klobuchar to vote to cut Medicare, while 69 percent say to vote against.

The numbers are almost as sharp on support for cutting Medicaid in all four states: Ohio is 33 percent in favor to 61 percent against; Missouri is 32 percent to 63 percent; Montana is 36 percent to 59 percent; and Minnesota 33 to 62 percent.
It can be very difficult to show someone else what is best for them, but politicians are supposed to have a sharp sense for survival. We'll see.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Krugman revisits the Confidence Fairy

Or tries to as the Fairy has yet to appear. Despite the errant states of Europe practicing the new religion of Austerity with full vigor, old CF just won't show. Perhaps they should try Waiting for Godot instead.

Regarding the Republican/Teabagger dogs breakfast of candidates

One T-Paw BridgeFail told everyone he would make his announcement on Monday. It seems he is not a man of his word. He declared his candidacy today, no doubt afraid he would be forgotten by Monday. Having made his noise today, most people will probably forget by tomorrow, Monday.

Some Not Cowboy Music

From the late great Kirsty MacColl

Snow, snow everywhere

And when the record snowpack in the Rockies melts is a cause of much concern to people downstream.
Thanks to a blizzard-filled winter and an unusually cold and wet spring, more than 90 measuring sites from Montana to New Mexico and California to Colorado have record snowpack totals on the ground for late May, according to a federal report released last week.

Those giant and spectacularly beautiful snowpacks will now melt under the hotter, sunnier skies of June — mildly if weather conditions are just right, wildly and perhaps catastrophically if they are not.
The last time there was a snowpack like this was 1983 and since then a lot of people have built themselves in harms way, maybe. Some are ready for the worst and some aren't. No one really knows what will happen because they are all waiting on the weather.

Born to fail

Gretchen Morgensen and Joshua Rosner excerpt a portion of their new book to look at the rise and fall of Nova Star Financial. Nova Star was one of the mortgage fraudsters that helped bring down the economy even though the SEC could not quite figure out how to start an investigation. A sad story of shared failure.

The new normal in Baghdad

The Iraqi people are seeking a new level for their post Bush War society and they are using the tools they learned under the occupation.
Fifteen explosions, including one that appeared aimed at a United States military convoy, shook Baghdad over the span of four hours on Sunday morning, killing 18 and wounding 77, according to an Iraqi security official.

The most deadly attack occurred at about 9 a.m. in north Baghdad when a suicide bomber detonated explosives near police officers who had responded to the scene of an explosion near the American convoy, the security official said.

Twelve people, including eight police officers, died in the attack and 23 were wounded, including eight police officers, the official said.

A spokesman for the United States military in Iraq said he had not received any reports that an American convoy had been attacked.

The violence appeared to be part of a pattern in Baghdad on Sundays, the day that marks the beginning of the workweek.
Now is the time to get ALL US troops out of Iraq. For those left behind it will probably be worse that missing the Rapture. And their troubles will serve no good purpose.

Roger Ailes thinks Palin is stupid

This is not news. What is news is that Ailes tried to build a stable of potential candidates and they are all losers. They are so bad he is trying to get Secaucus Fats to run.

Mitch Daniels not running for president

We suppose he is having more fun running the Indiana Culture Wars and has no desire to explain himself to non batshit crazy voters.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Around 9 PM

I felt what seemed like the power of the Lord inside me and it seemed like it was my time to go. But it was only a fart. I am so going to Hell.

The common thread between Snooki's vagina and Face Ripper Monkey

All in a vain attempt to somehow find a candidate meaner than Trump and dumber than Palin.

Public Service Announcement for NY-26

Kathy Hochul on Big Oil subsidies

Another way to find the rapture?

Working for it the hard way.

Got tax problems?

Don't call Roni Deutch, she is currently up to her ass in alligators with multiple legal problems of her own.
Deutch's slide began in August, when then-Attorney General Jerry Brown sued her for allegedly swindling her clients. Brown alleged that Deutch's firm charged up to $4,700 per client, but did little work on their behalf. Less than 10 percent of clients had their federal tax debts resolved, he said.

The lawsuit demanded that she return $34 million to customers and cease advertising. Later that month, a court order was issued to prevent Deutch from destroying evidence.

Brown's successor, Attorney General Kamala Harris, alleges that Deutch violated the court's orders "almost before they came off the printer" by embarking on a massive shredding operation that claimed as many as 2.7 million documents by the end of March.

A Sacramento Superior Court judge in April froze her assets. In addition to destroying documents, Deutch was accused of failing to meet a court deadline to pay about $435,000 in refunds to clients and diverting assets to family, friends and creditors in violation of court orders.
This one won't be settled for pennies on the dollar.

The new papal smoke

From the pen of Tony Auth

Indian Cos. setting up call centers in US

Because the help is cheaper. You still can't understand what they are saying.

The TSA Hokey Pokey Pokey

With commercials.

May is Zombie Appreciation Month (who knew?)

And Richard Fricker shows us some of the many sources of this underappreciated scourge.

Because they know she is an ignorant fuck

The supporters of the Queen of Batshit Crazy, Michelle Bachman have risen to her defense. Last week she was challenged to a debate on the Constitution by a 16 year old New Jersey high school student. To protect their beloved Queen from making a fool of herself as she is wont to do, her supporters have begun a hate filled attack on the 16 year old girl.
After it started getting media attention last weekend, commenters on tea party websites have threatened to publish her home address and some have threatened violence.

The 16-year-old from Cherry Hill says several commenters have called her a “whore.”

Her father, Wayne, says he’s concerned for his daughter’s safety.

The Cherry Hill Courier Press reports that others “threatened violence, including rape” and that “several commenters threatened to publish the Myers’ home address.” Amy’s school has reportedly also received “threatening mail.”
Business as usual for Republican/Teabaggers, despicable hate filled attacks to protect their alternate reality. Scum.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Republican/Teabaggers think massive market uncertainty is OK

Mostly because of the hairball ideas of a billionaire hedge fund manager named Druckenmiller. He has sold the clever but not so smart Republican Teabagger caucus that the US can survive a few days in default.
The most influential of these dissidents is Stanley Druckenmiller, a billionaire former-hedge fund manager who helped George Soros build his fortune. His recent comments to the Wall Street Journal have carried the day with senior Republicans like House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (WI), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA), and Sen. Pat Toomey (PA), all of whom now say the U.S. could weather three or four days of missed interest payments, as long as the U.S. debt ceiling were quickly lifted, and a credible debt reduction plan signed into law.

Druckenmiller did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But the ascent of his view alarms everyone from industry insiders to Treasury officials to economists, conservative and liberal, to non-partisan analysts who say the consequences of the U.S. missing even a single interest payment to a debt-holder would be catastrophic -- even if it was followed immediately by a legislative course correction.

"The U.S. dollar would be among the first casualties. If hot money were to flee what was once its safest haven, the dollar would sink and U.S. interest rates would rise," writes Princeton economist, and former Fed Chairman Alan Blinder, also in the Wall Street Journal. "The latter could lead us back into recession."

It's not that investors would no longer have faith in the U.S. government's technical ability to pay its bills. Nobody doubts that the U.S. can in theory manage its debt for years on the current fiscal trajectory before running into trouble with the markets. The fear is that buyers of U.S. debt would have to consider a new, previously unthinkable risk -- that the country's political system is too dysfunctional to set brinksmanship aside and steward the economy responsibly.
No one would doubt the credit of the US, but thanks to the batshit crazy legislators, uncertainty would add a large cost and faith in the US would disappear. What is not said is how much these hairball idea men stand to make if they drive the US into default?

The Blackmailer revealed

From the pen of Stuart Carlson.

Obama tells Israel to give up stolen lands

And Israel has responded with a nice friendly,
לך תזדיין, גנבנו את זה אנחנו שומרים את זה
This, while expected, at least has people talking.

R.I.P. Barbara Stuart

Now we can put a name to the face we saw so often.

One man's answer to priestly pedophilia

From Austria:
The signs depict a priest wearing a long cassock chasing a boy and a girl, framed by a bright red warning circle.

They're dotted along a southern Austrian wilderness path that cuts through a swath of forest owned by Sepp Rothwangl, and warn priests against entering his land in the company of kids. It's the wilderness camp owner's way of dealing with what he says was his own abuse by a clergyman as a child...

"Child Protection Area," declares a message in bold black writing beneath the sign. "Violations will be prosecuted. We are forced to take this action in the interests of unprotected children."

The message says clergy are prohibited from entering the forest in the company of children unless they are accompanied by parents, guardians or other authorized adults.
So I guess the Popenfueher's visit is off?

Goldmine Sachs expects document demands from DOJ

Because that is what would normally happen when the DoJ is presented with firm evidence of criminal wrong doing.
Goldman Sachs executives expect federal prosecutors to demand to see internal documents, as the government ramps up its investigation into the way the firm handled mortgage products, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The subpoenas would come in response to the lengthy report on the financial crisis released by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations last month, the WSJ notes, citing sources. The report, which was referred to the Justice Department, alleges that Goldman executives deceived clients in order to profit at their expense, and then misled Congress when asked to explain their behavior...

The investigation into Goldman comes as the federal government is working with all 50 state attorneys general to reach a settlement with the nation's biggest banks over accusations of illegal foreclosures and fraudulent mortgage practices. This week, the inspector general at the Department of Housing and Urban Development concluded that the nation's five largest mortgage companies defrauded taxpayers in their handling of foreclosures, The Huffington Post reported. It's now up to the Department of Justice to decide whether to file charges.
A Department of Justice under Eric Holder that is probably still riddled with leftover Bushies is not expected to come to any decision, now or in the future.

T-Paw BridgeFail to announce presidential candidacy

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a laid-back Midwestern Republican who governed a Democratic-leaning state, is running for president and will declare his candidacy on Monday in the leadoff caucus state of Iowa, an adviser told The Associated Press.
Pharmaceutical companies are expecting a large drop off in sleep aid sales.

The Defense Dept joins the party

The Cost of This Jet Is Too Damn High Party. This time around it is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that has a swollen price tag.
The cost of building the F-35 fighter jet, set to replace a large part of the US warplane fleet, is "unaffordable" in its current version and must be reviewed, the Pentagon's top acquisition official said Thursday.

"Over the lifetime of this program, the decade or so, the per-aircraft cost of the 2,443 aircraft we want has doubled in real terms," said Ashton Carter, the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

"That's our forecast for how much the aircraft's going to cost.

"Said differently, that's what it's going to cost if we keep doing what we're doing. And that's unacceptable. It's unaffordable at that rate."

The cost of the plane has jumped to $385 billion, about $103 million per plane in constant dollars or $113 million in fiscal year 2011 dollars, said Christine Fox, the Defense Department's director of cost assessment and program evaluation...

Carter attributed the cost overruns and delays to the plane's complexities and its radar-evading equipment, as well as the short-takeoff and vertical takeoff versions. And he said the culture of easy money at the Pentagon since 9/11 was also to blame.
How many years will it take to kill this program?

From the Heart of Woodstock

To the Heart of America with Love. Courtesy of Marc Black

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Planned Parenthood responds to Kansas' Big Gov't regulation of women.

And the best part, their response anticipates all the new rules and regulations being passed in the Old White Men's Republic of Kansas.
Planned Parenthood announced Tuesday the grand opening of its long-planned $8 billion Abortionplex, a sprawling abortion facility that will allow the organization to terminate unborn lives with an efficiency never before thought possible.

During a press conference, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards told reporters that the new state-of-the-art fetus-killing facility located in the nation's heartland offers quick, easy, in-and-out abortions to all women, and represents a bold reinvention of the group's long-standing mission and values.

"Although we've traditionally dedicated 97 percent of our resources to other important services such as contraception distribution, cancer screening, and STD testing, this new complex allows us to devote our full attention to what has always been our true passion: abortion," said Richards, standing under a banner emblazoned with Planned Parenthood's new slogan, "No Life Is Sacred." "And since Congress voted to retain our federal funding, it's going to be that much easier for us to maximize the number of tiny, beating hearts we stop every day."

"The Abortionplex's high-tech machinery is capable of terminating one pregnancy every three seconds," Richards added. "That's almost a million abortions every month. We're so thrilled!"
We hope they are up and running at full capacity soon, too many female high school seniors are opting for delivery of their babies over graduation.

Not Good news

China's Gen. Chen Bingde of the People's Liberation Army of the People's Republic of China took possession of the Pentagon today. The move was to secure their collateral in advance of the planned Republican/Teabagger default of the United States. Gen. Chen indicated that further moves were planned to protect Chinese investment in the US.

Republican/Teabaggers are saying default is no big deal

The two largest ratings agencies, Moody's and S & P respond with an economically polite form of "Who are you fucking kidding, asshole!"

Too poor to provide adequate services

Two counties in Kentucky are continuing to pile up debt, as yet unpaid and accruing interest, to carry on their fight to post rules of a foreign religion. Somehow the idea of posting the 10 Commandments makes them think they are better, albeit poorer, Christians.

Big Oil Obedience School

From the pen of Pat Oliphant

Private prisons just another profit center

And one that draws its profits from the taxpayers pockets. Once touted as the saviour of America's beloved prison system, the latest data indicates they are just another sinkhole for tax dollars.
The conviction that private prisons save money helped drive more than 30 states to turn to them for housing inmates. But Arizona shows that popular wisdom might be wrong: Data there suggest that privately operated prisons can cost more to operate than state-run prisons — even though they often steer clear of the sickest, costliest inmates.

The state’s experience has particular relevance now, as many politicians have promised to ease budget problems by trimming state agencies. Florida and Ohio are planning major shifts toward private prisons, and Arizona is expected to sign deals doubling its private-inmate population.

The measures would be a shot in the arm for an industry that has struggled, in some places, to fill prison beds as the number of inmates nationwide has leveled off. But hopes of big taxpayer benefits might end in disappointment, independent experts say.

“There’s a perception that the private sector is always going to do it more efficiently and less costly,” said Russ Van Vleet, a former co-director of the University of Utah Criminal Justice Center. “But there really isn’t much out there that says that’s correct.”
Privitization, just another way to divert public assets into private pockets.

Investigation says Massey Energy did it

Following the disaster at the Upper Big Branch mine that cost the lives of 29 miners, an independent investigation has made its report. The report's conclusions make it clear why Bloody Don Blankenship took early retirement.
The report, issued Thursday by an independent team appointed by the former West Virginia governor, Joe Manchin, and led by the former federal mine safety chief Davitt McAteer, echoed preliminary findings by federal officials that the blast could have been prevented if Massey had observed minimal safety standards.

But it was more pointed in naming Massey as the culprit, using blunt language to describe what it said was a pattern of negligence that ultimately led to the deaths of 29 miners on April 5, 2010, in what was the worst American mining disaster in 40 years.

“The story of Upper Big Branch is a cautionary tale of hubris,” the report concluded. “A company that was a towering presence in the Appalachian coalfields operated its mines in a profoundly reckless manner, and 29 coal miners paid with their lives for the corporate risk-taking.”
The mine wasn't safe and that was the way the corporation wanted it. Another situation where people need to go to jail but won't.

Gail Collins looks at Republicans

So we don't have to. But when writing about Republicans, it is impossible to avoid mentioning their sexual proclivities.
A married congressman hunting for babes is bad. A married congressman hunting for babes by posting a half-naked photo of himself on the Internet is Republican.

A married governor who fathers an illegitimate child is awful. A married governor who fathers an illegitimate child by a staff member of the family home and then fails to mention it to his wife for more than 10 years is Republican.

A married senator who has an affair with an employee is a jerk. A married senator who has an affair with an employee who is the wife of his chief of staff, and whose adultery is the subject of ongoing discussion at his Congressional prayer group, is Republican.

We haven’t even gotten to Newt Gingrich yet!
The Republicans would be in deep shit if the Democrats were the party of family values.

What part of illegal does he have trouble understanding?

Sen. Mark Kirk, the Illinois Senator with the uncertain military past, has now shown is failure to grasp the concept of legal v. illegal.
Republican Senator Mark Kirk (IL) says that President Barack Obama should announce the end of the Justice Department's "unwarranted" investigation of CIA interrogators when he visits their headquarters on Friday

"These Americans did their jobs at the direction of the President of the United States and this politically motivated investigation will have a chilling effect on the work of their colleagues and other national security professionals in the U.S. Government," the freshman senator said in a statement.
Coming from Illinois and having a tough time understanding what the law is all about allows us to wonder how long before he has his Blago moment.

Dr. No sucks up to Obama

There are no criteria developed by humanity that would allow you to consider Sen. Tom Coburn a reasonable man. His Senate nickname of Dr. No comes from his ability to make the dog in the manger seem cooperative. How then do we explain this seemingly reasonable position from Dr. No?
Republican Sen. Tom Coburn says that a long-term deficit reduction plan must include some revenue increases, because that's what Americans want.

"It's time for the Senate to earn its reputation as the world’s greatest deliberative body and help lead that effort," Coburn wrote in a Washington Post op-ed Thursday.

"The public rightly prefers spending cuts over revenue increases, but numerous polls indicate the vast majority of Americans would support the only type of plan that would ever make it out of Congress and be signed into law: one that favors spending cuts over revenue increases but includes both," he explained.
Has he seen the light or is the DoJ doing more than we think them capable of? Time will tell and hopefully bring some indictments.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hey Clarence Thomas! This is how you do it!

One of the top prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorneys office has recused herself from the DSK prosecution because of her husband.
Executive Assistant District Attorney Karen Friedman Agnifilo, chief of the trial division at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, won’t work on the case, said the person, who declined to be identified because the matter isn’t public. Strauss-Kahn is charged with sexual assault and attempted rape in an alleged attack on a New York hotel housekeeper.

Agnifilo is married to Marc Agnifilo, an attorney at New York-based Brafman & Associates PC. Benjamin Brafman has been hired as defense counsel for Strauss-Kahn and has said his client will plead not guilty to the charges...

Agnifilo recused herself from the case “as soon as the law firm of Brafman & Associates, with which her husband is associated, was engaged as counsel for the defendant,” Erin Duggan, the chief spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., said in a statement. “This is consistent with routine practice.
See that Clarence? That is how an ethical lawyer or jurist acts in that situation. Give Ms. Agnifilo a call if you have any questions.

A blast from the present

And truly a wonderful thing to hear. Listen, repeat and repeat again, it's worth it.

How to fool Sara Palin.

Just ask her questions based on these topics. Courtesy of Alan Grayson.
1) Palin doesn’t know who is buried in Grant’s Tomb.

(2) Palin couldn’t tell you when the War of 1812 was fought.

(3) Palin has no clue about the color of George Washington’s white horse.

(4) Palin wonders on what day Latinos celebrate the Cinco de Mayo.

(5) Palin isn’t sure what weighs more, a pound of bricks or a pound of feathers.

(6) Palin has no idea in what month the October Revolution took place.

(7) Palin is baffled by the question of who came up with the Monroe Doctrine.

(8) Palin would very much like to know who fought in the French and Indian War.

(9) Palin is puzzled as to who wrote “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.”

(10) Palin is at a loss regarding what were JFK’s initials.

A Public Service Announcement

Newter was right.

Quote of the Day

Ron Paul may be the wackiest candidate in the GOP field. But for pure, blind stupidity nobody beats Santorum.
Mark Salter, McCain aide responding to The Frothy One's remarks about Sen. McCain and torture.

If a sense of humor had teeth

We could train them to walk up to Republicans, Teabaggers and other Radical Right Wingers and bite them in the ass. As all these types are congenitally unable to recognize humor, they would never see it coming. TPM has the details.

This one's for you, bud

Because you are The Other 98%

h/t Fearguth

A possible defense strategy for DSK?

From the pen of Pat Oliphant

click pic to big

From the Dept. of Statistical Interest

Harold Meyerson in setting up his column on the Republican/Teabagger Welfare States has this interesting paragraph.
To begin, then: We’re broke! We can’t afford any more taxes! (Well, America’s 400 wealthiest taxpayers certainly can. In 1955, according to the Campaign for America’s Future, the country’s 400 wealthiest taxpayers had an average income of $13.3 million (in 2008 dollars) and paid 51.2 percent of that in federal income taxes. In 2008, according to IRS calculations, they had an average income of $270.5 million and paid 18 percent of that in federal income taxes. And in 1955, by the way, we could afford to pave roads.)(my em)
We've come a long way, baby.

It looks like off shoring worked

The WaPo has a report on an increase in manufacturing jobs in the Rust Belt.One major difference between the new jobs and those that once were in the Rust Belt is the size of the paycheck.
The nation’s factories have added 250,000 jobs since the beginning of last year — about 13 percent of what was lost during the recent recession — marking the first sustained increase in manufacturing employment since 1997.

But the new hiring also reflects another emerging reality of U.S. manufacturing: Many of the jobs don’t pay anything close to what they used to. Assembly-line workers who will be making the EdenPure products under the auspices of Suarez Corp. Industries will start at $7.50 an hour.

That’s a far cry from the $20 an hour that most workers made with Hoover, which shifted its century-old production lines to Mexico and El Paso in 2007 after concluding that it was too expensive to make its products in the industrial Midwest.

“The communities and workers in Ohio have been devastated over the past decade and are grateful for the opportunity to earn a living,” said Robert Baugh, executive director of the AFL-CIO’s Industrial Union Council. “But this is tempered by reality. One is that the jobs at Suarez, with wages and benefits well below the middle-class ones that were there before, are not a replacement for the ones that left.”
Replacing democracy with oligarchy because only rich people deserve a decent life.

Republican/Teabaggers own the Big Oil Subsidies

Because gouging Americans to benefit their rich corporate buddies is what they are all about.
The Senate on Tuesday blocked a Democratic proposal to strip the five leading oil companies of tax breaks that backers of the measure said were unfairly padding industry profits while consumers were struggling with high gas prices.

Despite falling eight votes short of the 60 needed to move ahead with the bill, top Democrats said they would insist that eliminating the tax breaks to generate billions of dollars in revenue must be part of any future agreement to raise the federal debt limit.

“We have to stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough,’ ” said Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota. “While oil prices are gouging the pocketbooks of American families, these companies are on a pace for a record profit this year.”
Two oil state Democrats joined the Republican/Teabaggers. This was expected because they owe so much to Big Oil they dare not cross their corporate masters. Sen. Ben Nelson and his Famous Dead Rat also joined in though his motivation is unclear. What is clear is that Republican/Teabaggers don't give a damn for the debt or the country. Fortunately for them, their supporters are too damn dumb to figure it out.

Some old blues for Blueday

So old it couldn't get here in time for Bluesday

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

When Blogger shit the bed last week

It took with it most of the posts for that day. Tonight it gave then back as drafts. Going through them, I eliminated a few I was no longer satisfied with and just hit post for the rest. It may look like I was busy today, but I was just too lazy to put half the posts in the correct time slot. Given that hosting this blog is free, I thinl I get a little more than I pay for.

Your Daily Cenk Shot

Cenk and Sheldon Whitehouse discuss the Republican/Teabagger vote to support $4Billion Big Oil subsidy.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Your Dylan Dally Moment

Dylan speaks to Fraudclosure and the Banksters

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Oil execs can whine and pout and cry

But they really can't come up with a good reason why they and the industry would be harmed if they lost a tax subsidy that was meant to help in times on very low oil prices. Or as Chuck Schumer put it.
Schumer said the average American would more readily believe that a unicorn had appeared before the committee than that the oil companies needed tax incentives.

For cars and collectors

Cafe Press has the first great bumper sticker for 2012. Go ahead, you know you want one.

h/t Dependable Renegade

If Rand Paul were given the choice

The choice to keep his mouth shut and be thought a fool or to open it and give proof that he is a fool, we now know what his choice would be. Rand Paul has come down wholeheartedly on the side of being proven a fool.
Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul said during a Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing Wednesday that those who believe in a right to healthcare actually believe in slavery.

"With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies," the senator said. "It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me."

"It means you believe in slavery," Paul added. "It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses."
We are forced to accept that the elder Dr. Paul believed in the efficacy of dropping a child on its head to improve its intelligence. Alien possession is the only other way to explain the strange pronouncements of Rand Paul.

Why your grandchildren should learn to speak Pushtu

So they will be able to separate the good Afghans from the ones they kill as our Imperial War To Do Good in Afghanistan goes into its fourth decade. And if JP Morgan Chase has its way that will be the way of the future.
To Hannam, chairman of J.P. Morgan Capital Markets, Afghanistan represents a gigantic, untapped opportunity -- one of the last great natural-resource frontiers. Landlocked and pinioned by imperial invaders, Afghanistan has been cursed by its geography for thousands of years. Now, for the first time, Hannam believes, that geography could be an asset. The two most resource-starved nations on the planet, China and India, sit next door to Afghanistan, where, according to Pentagon estimates, minerals worth nearly $1 trillion lie buried. True, there is a war under way. And it's unclear how the death of Osama bin Laden will impact the country's political and economic environment. But Hannam is not your usual investment banker: A former soldier, he has done business in plenty of strife-torn countries. So have all the members of his team, two of them former special forces soldiers who have fought here.

As he flies to the mine for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Hannam thinks back over the past 12 months. This little mine, where operations have yet to commence, is puny by J.P. Morgan's (JPM) standards, but he knows it might be the project for which he is remembered. A lot of powerful people, including the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, are counting on him to demonstrate that the country is safe for foreign investors. Hannam has chafed at times under the pressure from the Pentagon, and the cold-eyed realist in him wonders whether unrealistic expectations are being placed on this business venture.
And how long before they are ripping off mountain tops and using acid leaching to get the gold and poison the rest of the valley? As long as they can get the suckers in the White House and Congress to believe it is in our national security to keep Imperial Forces there to protect the miners.

Goldmine Sachs now to profit from Death

As Death enters into a swap for long term risk management in return for his sting. From Bloomberg:
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), which bundled and sold billions of dollars of mortgage loans, now want to help investors bet on people’s deaths.

Pension funds sitting on more than $23 trillion of assets are buying insurance against the risk their members live longer than expected. Banks are looking to earn fees from packaging that risk into bonds and other securities to sell to investors. The hard part: Finding buyers willing to take the other side of bets that may take 20 years or more to play out.

“Banks are increasingly looking to offer derivative solutions,” said Nardeep Sangha, 43, chief executive officer of Abbey Life Assurance Co., a London-based Deutsche Bank unit that helps pension funds manage the risk of retirees living longer than expected. “Making the long maturity of the risks palatable for investors, including sovereign wealth funds, private-equity firms and specialist funds, is the challenge.”
If the Republican/Teabaggers can kill Medicare and institute their coupon plan, this could be another gold mine for Goldmine Sachs and J P Morgan and their dirty little Deutsche buddy.

The Death of Public Education

Will be accomplished by the giving over of public education to Republican bidnessmen who know how to make a buck from the little bastards. Gail Collins takes a look at some of the initial steps, like this one from Ohio.
Last week, in Ohio, the State House went for the whole hog and approved legislation that would allow for-profit businesses to open up their own taxpayer-financed charter schools.

“It takes the public out of public education,” complained Bill Sims of the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

This exciting new plan, which seemed to have been inserted into the state budget bill by a magical invisible hand, would also reduce oversight. It got a rave review in The Columbus Dispatch from an op-ed contributor named Thomas Needles, who cheered legislators for trying to end the “drip-drop of wrongheaded regulation” of charter schools.

Needles is a consultant for White Hat Management, the largest company currently managing charter schools in Ohio — and with none too great a record, according to the National Education Policy Center, which said that only 2 percent of the schools White Hat runs have scored well on yearly progress tests. The owner of White Hat is a gynormous donor to the state Republican Party. Not that that would make any difference. Just saying.
Which raises the question, will the poor kids be edumacated enough by White Hat Management to qualify for a McJob at the local Burger Paradise?

Every day, in every way

More and more of Goldmine Sachs criminal activity is being detailed to the public in a way that in the past would usually come out in court testimony. Writing in The Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi lays out from the Levin Committee report just why the top people at Goldmine should be doing time, for perjury if nothing else.

Now we get news that Massachusetts securities regulators have a problem with how Goldmine used information from analysts in dealing with clients in meeting the terms of an earlier legal settlement. And because bad news comes in threes, Goldmine also reveals that the CFTC has them under investigation.

In a perfect world, the Department of Justice under Attorney General Holder would be dismantling Goldmine Sachs as a criminal enterprise. And we would all be living in the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

Coal Industry gets punked by the Yes Men

And the website they created is wicked. Story here.

NY AG starts another investigation

Because there really is a target rich environment on Wall St. for one who wants to uphold the law.
The New York attorney general has requested information and documents in recent weeks from three major Wall Street banks about their mortgage securities operations during the credit boom, indicating the existence of a new investigation into practices that contributed to billions in mortgage losses.

Officials in Eric T. Schneiderman’s, office have also requested meetings with representatives from Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, according to people briefed on the matter who were not authorized to speak publicly. The inquiry appears to be quite broad, with the attorney general’s requests for information covering many aspects of the banks’ loan pooling operations. They bundled thousands of home loans into securities that were then sold to investors such as pension funds, mutual funds and insurance companies.

It is unclear which parts of the byzantine securitization process Mr. Schneiderman is focusing on. His spokesman said the attorney general would not comment on the investigation, which is in its early stages.
So many crimes, so little time.

Whackistan and beyond

John Stewart looks at what was a busy weekend.

From Osama bin Fappin

The Daily Show
Tags: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook

To Huck and the Nuge

The Daily Show - The Not Running Man
Tags: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook

R.I.P. Harmon Killebrew

You hit them hard, you fought to the end and you accepted the end with grace and courage.

Wisconsin Boy Blunder won't run for Senate

He feels he can do more damage to the US by staying in the House.

The power to declare war at the President's pleasure.

In an effort to insure there are no unpleasant efforts to require Congressional approval the next time there is a Republican president, the Republican/Teabaggers have included a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act that would let the president start a war anytime and anyplace of his own choosing.
A little noticed provision in the House Armed Services Committee's National Defense Authorization Act would authorize the United States to use military force anywhere there are terrorism suspects, including within the U.S. itself, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Section 1034 was added to the bill [PDF] by the committee's chairman, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA).

"Congress may soon vote on a new declaration of worldwide war without end, and without clear enemies," the ACLU warned in a statement. "A 'sleeper provision' deep inside defense bills pending before Congress could become the single biggest hand-over of unchecked war authority from Congress to the executive branch in modern American history."
Because the next Republican/Teabagger president may not be as smart as George W Cheney, they are making it easier for him. And in keeping with the shitass policies of the Republican/Teabaggers,
Garamendi said the National Defense Authorization Act also extends the war in Afghanistan, delays the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and furthers billions of dollars in wasteful Pentagon spending.
But we can't extend unemployment benefits with 9% of the working population out of a job because ZOMG we have a debt crisis.

Cured of AIDS

According to news reports a California man has had HIV purged from his body.
Timothy Ray Brown, a 45-year-old San Francisco man previously known to the medical community as “the Berlin patient,” has become the first person to ever be cured of AIDS.

After a stem cell bone marrow transplant, doctors say his HIV, the infection which causes AIDS, was eradicated.

His bone marrow donor was one of a very small percentage of people who are immune to HIV. He received a second bone marrow transplant after a resurgence of Leukemia, which he’s also since been cured of.
If this is true and scalable to a much larger group, it is better news than the death of the entire Republican Party.

Behold, the Great American Revolving Door

From regulator to regulated without the slightest blush of shame.
A top telecommunications regulator who voted to approve Comcast Corp.'s takeover of NBCUniversal in January is leaving to join the company as a lobbyist.

Meredith Attwell Baker, one of two Republicans on the five-member Federal Communications Commission, will become senior vice president of government affairs for NBCUniversal.

Comcast said it did not begin discussions with Baker about a possible job until after the transaction had closed.
And I have this really nice bridge I need to sell.

Another Fracking Song

Here we have an explanation of fracking that does not come from the frackers who are fracking up the landscape.

Monday, May 16, 2011

It's not good to get a bad audit

And when it is the federal government doing the audit on the five largest mortgage companies and their results turn up evidence of what most people consider a crime you could have a problem.
A set of confidential federal audits accuse the nation’s five largest mortgage companies of defrauding taxpayers in their handling of foreclosures on homes purchased with government-backed loans, four officials briefed on the findings told The Huffington Post.

The five separate investigations were conducted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general and examined Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial, the sources said...

The federal audits mark the latest fallout from the national foreclosure crisis that followed the end of a long-running housing bubble. Amid reports last year that many large lenders improperly accelerated foreclosure proceedings by failing to amass required paperwork, the federal agencies launched their own probes.

The resulting reports read like veritable indictments of major lenders, the sources said. State officials are now wielding the documents as leverage in their ongoing talks with mortgage companies aimed at forcing the firms to agree to pay fines to resolve allegations of routine violations in their handling of foreclosures.

The audits conclude that the banks effectively cheated taxpayers by presenting the Federal Housing Administration with false claims: They filed for federal reimbursement on foreclosed homes that sold for less than the outstanding loan balance using defective and faulty documents.
It sure looks like orange jumpsuits and perp walks for all except for one small detail.
The internal watchdog office at HUD referred its findings to the Department of Justice, which must now decide whether to file charges.
Nothing to see here folks, let's move along.

Tom Tomorrow tells a fairy tale

Which you can find at the Great Orange Stan.

In less than 1 week on the campaign trail

Newticles Gingrich has already flip flopped on a major political issue.
Newt Gingrich is condemning individual health insurance mandates today, finally ditching the policy after more than a decade of vocal support that he reiterated as recently as Sunday morning.

"I am for the repeal of Obamacare and I am against any effort to impose a federal mandate on anyone because it is fundamentally wrong and I believe unconstitutional," he said in a video posted on his website on Monday and apparently shot this morning outside a Washington, D.C., hotel where Gingrich was addressing an Alzheimer's convention.

In the early 1990s, Gingrich joined many Republican in backing a health care law featuring an individual mandate as an alternative to President Clinton's proposal. He supported a similar policy throughout the 2000s in several of his books, echoing President Obama and Mitt Romney in backing an individual mandate buttressed by financial support for those who can't afford health insurance.

He repeated his support for such a plan yet again on Meet The Press this Sunday after David Gregory played a clip of Newt calling for an individual mandate in 1993.

"I've said consistently we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way you indicate you're going to be held accountable," Gingrich said, repeating Romney's argument that it was necessary to solve the "free rider" problem of how to pay for treating the uninsured. Asked whether this constituted a mandate, Gingrich replied it was "a variation on it."
Faster than a 30 year old virgin with his first woman.

Paul Ryan explains his plan

Rep. Paul Ryan R-Death Panel, was speaking to the Economic Club of Chicago to explain his plan for Medicare. It is strikingly simple. He will eliminate government payment for seniors health care. He will provide coupons to buy private health insurance. As the recipients get older the coupons will pay for less and less of the required premiums. And the newest point unveiled today, it will strengthen welfare for those who need it(?).

Also, unless I haven't been paying attention, Lyin' Ryan also unveiled a new haircut with the part on the side which makes him look like a dough faced oaf. His previous style was parted in the middle which made look like a douchbag. 6 of one, half dozen of the other.

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